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Top 11 ER RN Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top certifications for registered nurses, including requirements and benefits.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 17 min read

Certifications demonstrate a nurse's knowledge and expertise in the field of emergency nursing, allowing them to stand out in a competitive job market. Certifications serve as proof that the nurse has taken the time to learn about new technologies, treatments, and protocols. They also provide employers with tangible evidence of a nurse’s skills and abilities. By obtaining certifications, ER RNs can show that they are dedicated to their profession and have taken steps to keep their skills up-to-date. Employers are more likely to hire nurses who have obtained certifications because they are seen as more reliable and knowledgeable than those without certifications.

The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of some of the top certifications for ER RNs, and explain how these certifications can help to further their careers.

What are ER RN Certifications?

Er RN certification is a specialized certification for registered nurses who work in the emergency room. This certification allows nurses to demonstrate their expertise and commitment to providing high-quality care to patients in emergency situations. It also serves as a way for employers to recognize the competency of nurses working in this specialty area.

Those with Er RN certification must complete additional coursework and pass an exam that tests their knowledge of emergency room protocols and best practices. This helps ensure that they are up-to-date on the latest treatments, medications, and procedures used in the ER. By having this certification, nurses can demonstrate their proficiency in caring for critically ill or injured patients while also providing evidence of their commitment to professional excellence.

Having Er RN certification can be beneficial for those looking for career advancement opportunities or higher salaries in the healthcare field. It can also provide an edge when competing for jobs against other qualified candidates who do not have the specialized training necessary to receive this certification.

Pro Tip: Make sure to keep your ER RN certification current by attending continuing education courses and staying informed of the latest developments in the field. This will help ensure that you remain an expert in emergency nursing and are prepared to handle any situation that may arise.

Related: What does an ER RN do?

Top 11 ER RN Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to ER RNs today.

1. Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN)

Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN) is a professional certification awarded by the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN). It is designed to recognize nurses who have achieved a level of knowledge and expertise in emergency nursing practice.

The CEN certification is valid for five years, after which the nurse must renew it. To become certified, nurses must meet certain eligibility requirements, including having an active RN license and having at least two years of full-time work experience as an emergency nurse within the past three years. Nurses must also pass a comprehensive exam that covers topics such as patient assessment, pharmacology, trauma care, pediatric care and more.

To get certified, nurses must apply online through the BCEN website. The application fee is $295 for members of the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) and $395 for non-members. After submitting their application and paying the fee, nurses will receive an authorization to test letter from BCEN that will allow them to schedule their exam with Pearson VUE testing centers. Once they pass their exam, they will receive their CEN certification from BCEN.

2. Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN)

A Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN) is a specialized type of registered nurse who has advanced knowledge and training in caring for critically ill patients. CCRN certification requires nurses to have at least two years of experience in critical care nursing and must pass a comprehensive exam that covers topics such as pharmacology, physiology, pathophysiology, and nursing interventions.

It typically takes up to six months or more to prepare for the CCRN exam. The preparation includes studying textbooks, attending review courses, taking practice exams, and completing continuing education credits.

To get CCRN certification, you must be a licensed RN with at least two years of experience in critical care nursing. You will also need to pass the CCRN exam administered by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN).

The cost of the CCRN exam varies depending on your location and other factors. Generally speaking, it costs around $400-$500 USD to take the exam. This cost includes the application fee, test fees, and any additional materials required for the exam.

3. Trauma Certified Registered Nurse (TCRN)

A Trauma Certified Registered Nurse (TCRN) is a registered nurse who has completed specialized training and passed an examination in order to become certified in the care of trauma patients. The TCRN certification is offered by the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN).

It typically takes six months to one year to complete the requirements for certification, depending on the individual's experience level and study habits. To become certified, individuals must have an active RN license, at least two years of experience in emergency nursing or critical care nursing, and must pass a comprehensive exam.

In order to get certified as a TCRN, individuals must first apply for certification through BCEN. This includes submitting proof of education and experience, as well as paying a fee. Once approved, applicants can then register for the exam which will test their knowledge and skills related to trauma patient care.

The cost of becoming a TCRN varies depending on the individual's location and other factors. Generally speaking, it costs between $200-$400 USD to apply for certification through BCEN, plus additional fees for taking the exam ($350 USD).

4. Flight/Transport Nursing Certification (FNC/TNC)

Flight/Transport Nursing Certification (FNC/TNC) is a certification program designed to provide nurses with the knowledge and skills needed to work in the specialized field of flight and transport nursing. The FNC/TNC certification is offered through the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN).

The FNC/TNC certification requires nurses to have at least two years of experience as an emergency nurse, or completion of an approved flight or transport nursing course. Nurses must also pass the BCEN Flight/Transport Nursing Certification exam. The exam consists of 175 multiple-choice questions covering topics such as patient assessment, medical emergencies, trauma management, and airway management.

It typically takes around six months to complete the FNC/TNC certification process. During this time, nurses must complete all required coursework and pass the BCEN Flight/Transport Nursing Certification exam.

The cost for the FNC/TNC certification varies depending on the type of course taken and whether or not you are a member of BCEN. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $500-$1000 to become certified in flight or transport nursing.

5. Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)

Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) is a set of evidence-based guidelines and protocols for the management of cardiac arrest and other cardiovascular emergencies. ACLS is designed to provide high-quality care for critically ill patients who experience sudden cardiac arrest, stroke, or other life-threatening medical emergencies. The goal of ACLS is to improve patient outcomes by providing early recognition and intervention, as well as quality resuscitation efforts.

ACLS certification typically takes about 12 hours to complete. It consists of both classroom instruction and hands-on practice with an instructor. During the course, participants learn how to recognize and manage various types of cardiac events, such as ventricular fibrillation, pulseless electrical activity, asystole, bradycardia, tachycardia, and acute coronary syndromes. Participants also learn how to perform basic life support (BLS) skills such as chest compressions and rescue breathing.

To get ACLS certified, you must first take an approved course from an accredited provider. You can find a list of approved providers on the American Heart Association's website. After completing the course, you will receive a certificate that proves your proficiency in ACLS skills.

The cost of ACLS certification varies depending on the provider and location. Generally speaking, courses range from $200-$400 per person.

6. Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS)

Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) is an advanced medical training program designed to improve the quality of care for critically ill or injured children. It is a two-day course that teaches healthcare providers how to recognize and treat life-threatening conditions in infants, children, and adolescents. The course covers topics such as airway management, resuscitation, shock, arrhythmias, and pharmacology.

The PALS certification can be obtained by taking an American Heart Association (AHA) approved course. The course typically takes two days to complete and includes both classroom instruction and hands-on practice with manikins. The cost of the course varies depending on the provider but usually ranges from $200-$400.

7. Emergency Nurse Practitioner Certification (ENPC)

Emergency Nurse Practitioner Certification (ENPC) is a certification program designed to provide nurses with the knowledge and skills necessary to care for patients in emergency settings. The ENPC program is offered by the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) and is accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

The ENPC program consists of two parts: a written exam and a clinical practice component. The written exam consists of multiple-choice questions that focus on topics such as patient assessment, diagnosis, treatment, pharmacology, and legal/ethical issues. The clinical practice component requires nurses to demonstrate their ability to assess, diagnose, treat, and manage emergency patients in real-world scenarios.

It typically takes about six months to complete the ENPC program. To get started, nurses must first meet the eligibility requirements set forth by the ENA. These include being currently licensed as an RN or APRN in the United States or its territories; having at least two years of experience working in an emergency setting; and completing an approved ENPC course prior to taking the exam.

The cost of obtaining ENPC certification varies depending on which type of course you take and whether you are a member of the ENA or not. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $400-$1,200 for non-members to complete all components of the program. For members of the ENA, there may be discounts available that can reduce this cost significantly.

8. Prehospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS)

Prehospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS) is an internationally recognized continuing education program that provides prehospital professionals with the knowledge and skills to effectively assess and manage trauma patients. The program is designed to teach the principles of rapid assessment, appropriate interventions, and stabilization of the trauma patient. PHTLS courses are taught by certified instructors who are affiliated with the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT).

The PHTLS course takes 16 hours to complete, including hands-on practice sessions and a written exam. It is offered in two formats: as a traditional classroom course or as an online course. The traditional classroom course consists of two 8-hour days of instruction, while the online course can be completed at one's own pace over a period of several weeks or months.

To receive certification in PHTLS, individuals must successfully complete both the classroom portion and the written exam. Those who successfully complete all requirements will receive a certificate from NAEMT valid for four years.

The cost for completing PHTLS varies depending on your location and whether you choose to take the traditional classroom or online version. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay between $150-$250 for either format.

9. International Board of Specialty Nursing Certification in Emergency Nursing (IBCEN-EMN)

The International Board of Specialty Nursing Certification in Emergency Nursing (IBCEN-EMN) is a certification program designed to recognize the knowledge, skills, and abilities of nurses who specialize in emergency nursing. This certification is offered by the International Board of Specialty Nursing (IBSN).

To obtain the IBCEN-EMN certification, applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements and pass a written exam. The eligibility requirements include having a valid RN license, at least two years of experience as an emergency nurse, and completion of an approved continuing education program. Applicants must also submit documentation verifying their qualifications and pay an application fee.

The IBCEN-EMN exam consists of 200 multiple choice questions that cover topics such as patient assessment, pharmacology, trauma management, communication, legal issues, and disaster preparedness. The exam takes approximately four hours to complete.

The cost for the IBCEN-EMN exam is $395 USD for members of the IBSN and $495 USD for non-members. After passing the exam, applicants will be awarded with a certificate from the IBSN recognizing them as Certified Emergency Nurses (CENs).

10. Certified Emergency Medicine Nurse (CEMN)

Certified Emergency Medicine Nurse (CEMN) is a certification program designed to recognize nurses who demonstrate expertise in the field of emergency medicine. The CEMN credential is offered by the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN). The certification validates an individual’s knowledge and skills in providing care to acutely ill or injured patients in the emergency department setting.

It typically takes about 6-12 months to complete the CEMN certification process. To become certified, you must meet certain eligibility requirements, including having a current RN license and at least two years of experience as an emergency nurse within the past three years. You must also pass a comprehensive exam that covers topics such as patient assessment, pharmacology, trauma management, and more.

The cost for taking the CEMN exam varies depending on where you take it; however, it typically costs between $300-$400. Additionally, there may be additional fees associated with applying for certification and maintaining your certification status.

11. Certified Disaster Response Registered Nurse (CDRRN).

Certified Disaster Response Registered Nurse (CDRRN) is a certification program offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). It is designed to recognize nurses who have specialized training and experience in responding to disasters. The certification requires nurses to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and abilities in disaster response.

The certification process takes approximately 4-6 weeks to complete. To become certified, nurses must first meet the eligibility requirements and then submit an application. The application includes a resume, references, and proof of current licensure as a registered nurse. After submitting the application, nurses must take an online exam that consists of 150 multiple-choice questions on topics related to disaster response. Once the exam is passed, nurses will receive their certificate from ANCC.

The cost for the CDRRN certification varies depending on whether or not you are an ANCC member. For non-members, the cost is $395; for members, it is $295.

Do You Really Need a ER RN Certificate?

The answer to this question depends on your individual goals and career aspirations. In general, an ER RN certificate is not required for entry-level positions in the emergency room. Most employers prefer to hire nurses who have earned a Bachelor's degree in Nursing (BSN) or higher. However, if you are interested in advancing your career and increasing your knowledge and skills in the field of emergency nursing, then an ER RN certificate may be beneficial.

An ER RN certificate program will provide you with specialized training that can help you become a more effective emergency room nurse. You will learn about different patient care procedures, such as administering medications, performing diagnostic tests, and monitoring vital signs. Additionally, you may gain experience in trauma care, critical care, and resuscitation techniques. Through this type of specialized training, you will be better prepared to handle any situation that arises within the emergency room setting.

Furthermore, obtaining an ER RN certificate can be beneficial for those looking to pursue advanced practice roles such as Nurse Practitioners or Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS). Many employers require these credentials for advanced practice positions; therefore having an ER RN certification may give you a competitive edge when applying for these positions.

Overall, whether or not you need to obtain an ER RN certificate is based on your individual goals and aspirations. If you are looking to advance within the field of emergency nursing or pursue advanced practice roles like Nurse Practitioners or CNSs then obtaining an ER RN certification could be beneficial. However, if you are content with working entry-level positions in the emergency room then it is not necessary to get a certificate at this time.

Related: ER RN Resume Examples

FAQs About ER RN Certifications

1. What is an ER RN Certification?

Answer: An ER RN Certification is a specialized nursing certification for Registered Nurses who work in Emergency Rooms. This certification provides advanced training and knowledge of emergency care and trauma management to ensure the highest level of patient care.

2. How do I become certified as an ER RN?

Answer: To become certified as an ER RN, you must first complete a minimum of two years of experience working as a Registered Nurse in an Emergency Room setting. You must then pass the appropriate examination administered by either the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN) or the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN).

3. What are the benefits of having an ER RN Certification?

Answer: Having an ER RN Certification demonstrates your expertise and commitment to providing exceptional patient care in emergency rooms. It also allows you to be more marketable when seeking employment or promotions within the healthcare industry. Additionally, it may provide you with access to additional educational opportunities such as conferences, workshops, and continuing education courses that can lead to increased job satisfaction and career advancement.

4. How long does my ER RN Certification last?

Answer: Typically, your ER RN Certification will last for three years from the date it was issued. In order to maintain your certification, you must fulfill all requirements for recertification including continuing education credits and passing a recertification exam every three years.

5. Is there any financial assistance available for obtaining my ER RN Certification?

Answer: Yes, there are several organizations that offer financial assistance for obtaining an ER RN Certification including scholarships, grants, loans, and employer tuition reimbursement programs. Additionally, some employers may cover all or part of the cost associated with obtaining your certification if they feel it will benefit their organization in some way.